Jeff Bezos may sell Washington Post to buy Commanders, investors say: sources
January 23, 2023 11:20am
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Does Jeff Bezos love football more than he loves newspapers? That’s a question getting tossed around the nation’s capital as its NFL franchise hits the block.
Chatter is growing that Amazon’s billionaire founder is looking to clear the way for a purchase of the Washington Commanders by selling the Washington Post — with speculation boosted last month by leaked video of publisher Fred Ryan disclosing layoff plans at an unruly town hall meeting.
The problem for Bezos reportedly is that the Commanders’ embattled owner, Dan Snyder, is still sore over the storied newspaper’s series of exposes alleging a toxic management culture at the team, where bosses including Snyder allegedly enabled sex harassment.
Some even believe that Snyder suspects Bezos, who bought the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million, encouraged the tough coverage in 2020 in a bid to force him to sell him the team.
Last week, Bezos stoked fears about looming layoffs at the Washington Post during an awkward visit to the newsroom. A source close to the situation said Bezos told the paper’s senior staff in private meetings that he had no plans to sell the paper.
Nevertheless, one logical suitor believes the Washington Post is for sale and plans to bid, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said, declining to name the suitor. A second source who buys and sells newspapers said he also has heard the paper might be up for grabs.
“I think Bezos’ people could go to Dan and say as a gesture of goodwill, ‘We are selling the paper,’” a source close to the situation said. “I think that would go a long way with Dan.”
Meanwhile, Front Office Sports reported last Tuesday that Bank of America, hired by Snyder to auction the Commanders, “continues to court Bezos — even if there are indications that Snyder doesn’t want to sell” to the Amazon founder.
Bezos has not hired an investment banker to sell the Washington Post, nor has he made it perfectly clear it is actually for sale, the source added. Neither source is close to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, according to a Dec. 23 Axios report, is interested in